I made it back down to Surfside Beach, SC, for a second visit this Summer, this time for a Girls’ Trip with my friends Kandy and Becky.

I totally admit to being a pain in the butt and wanting to cancel the week leading up to the trip. The weather looked horrible, and this Delta variant covid business has made me more than a little nervous, to be blunt. I kept asking Russ for his medical expert opinion and he said to go, social distance, and try to have fun. That wasn’t what I wanted to hear, honestly.

The covid numbers for Horry County, SC, seemed high to me — 11.2% the week before we went. Then Russ disclosed the numbers for Washington County, TN (the county surrounding Johnson City, where Russ’ hospital is, where he works) for the same week — 12.4%! “Just go and be mindful of what you’re doing,” was his advice.

And he was right. It wasn’t so bad at the beach itself, because Surfside Beach is a small, less crowded beach than Myrtle proper. Being out of that high-impact area certainly has its advantages! The weather interfered to some extent, but we managed some beach time each day of our visit.

We did drive into Myrtle on Monday afternoon, to go to Captain George’s for their amazing seafood buffet. Thankfully, we arrived during the early bird hour and got out before it got super-crowded. The lines were unbelievable as we left, and we had walked in with no line at all.

I enjoyed quiet writing time in the lobby each morning and beautiful sunrise strolls on the beach each day, as well. We had a great time at Hyena Pizza on Sunday night, beside the hotel. Valentino’s, in town, was a super special treat on Tuesday, as was the Ole Fashion Ice Cream Parlor, where we took full advantage of two-scoop Tuesday and their remarkable prices! On our way out of town, we hit one of the pancake places, The Golden Egg Pancake House. Delicious pancakes and seriously generous portions!

As we left the Myrtle Beach area, Kandy had us stop at a place called Sparky’s, where she and one of her friends had stopped on a beach trip together. Apparently, Sparky’s has something of a cult following and has been around for a very long time. I’m told by many friends that it isn’t a real trip to the beach if you don’t stop at Sparky’s, either to or from, if not both. And you seriously cannot miss the place — the signs for it start about 20 miles in advance! You can buy anything there. It’s a gas station. It’s a restaurant. It has t-shirts and other Myrtle Beach souvenirs. (I bought Russ a polo, a t-shirt, and 5 or 6 pairs of fun socks like he likes to wear — in his size!) And they’re also a full-blown, one-stop fireworks store! But best of all, they have pecans coated in everything you can imagine! You can also find them online at www.SparkysOnline.com, where you can get free shipping on orders over $65! (Merry Christmas, everybody, lol!)

Bottom line? I’m glad I went. I apologize to my girlfriends for trying so desperately to back out